When I first got into mountain biking way back when, I started off with a very simple entry level mountain bike. This bike was nothing special, it had V-brakes, 26×1.95 tires, bottle cage, single wall rims, bar ends and a boat load of fun!
You see, I think there’s value in purchasing an entry level mountain bike when you’re first starting out because of the fact that you pretty much can see whether you like the sport or not without having to spend alot of money in the beginning.
I see it all the time happening with people around me, they end up purchasing a bike way too expensive and really has too many bells and whistles than they could use. You know what I’m talking about, these are the kind of bikes cost about the same as a mortgage.
What ends up happening is when people spend so much on their bikes right off the bat, they are waaaay to over protective of their bikes, causing them to not ride as hard or to have fun because they’re afraid they might brake the darn thing.
So here’s my suggestion. If you’re just getting into mountain biking, don’t break the bank by spending an arm and a leg for your new bike. Check out your local bike shop and go for a bike that around $500. With that budget you’ll get plenty of choices. If you feel that you can’t find anything you like at a bike shop, check out our Partners. Fezzari Bicycles, Woodstock Bikes, and Ibex Bikes all offer bikes within the $500 price range.
Once you get your mountain bike, I would recommend riding it for as long as you can. Learn your basic mountain biking skills such as jumping, balancing, single track riding, climbing and of course my favorite, maintenance.
After you feel that you’ve gained some good skills, then maybe its time to consider spending some bills on a bike that is more suited for your skill set. But don’t go over board by purchasing a bike that exceeds your riding ability. A good reputable bike shop will take the time to ask you about what kind of riding you will want to do with the bike and of course ask you about your budget. Don’t be shy with them, tell them everything you have to offer, that way your needs will be met.
Surprisingly online bike companies do the exact same thing. The staff of the companies I mentioned before are very well versed with the inner workings of a bicycle. They should be able to match you up with a ride that fits your needs.
But what ever you do, DO NOT go to a department store for your bike! Wally Worlds and Tar-jeh bikes are cheaply made and assembled poorly.
With all that said, just remember, if you’re new to the sport, you don’t need a high end bike(yet) to have fun. Get a decent entry level mountain bike to learn some of the basic skills of the sport and when you’re ready, upgrade to a better bike. Besides, you could always save your old bike for your kids or pass it on to the wife!